Any foreign national looking to retire to South Africa will require a Retired Permit. Retired Permits remain valid for 4 years. Once in the country, the bearers of Retired Permits are free to apply for permanent residence, and, eventually, even citizenship.
An application for a Retired Permit can be completed by submitting a completed BI-1738 form, which needs to be accompanied by a sum of R1520. This is non-refundable regardless of the success or failure of the application. You’ll need to submit this at the offices of your nearest South African representative (see ‘Consulates Abroad’) before departing for South Africa. You’ll also need:
- A passport valid for no less than 30 days after the expiry of your intended visit
- A medical certificate and a radiological report.
- A marriage certificate, if applicable.
- Full birth cetificates of any dependents.
- A police clearance certificate.
- A vaccination certificate.
You can view the form online at http://www.home-affairs.gov.za/documents/bi1738.pdf. For the complete list of forms, along with any other information you may need, visit http://www.home-affairs.gov.za/documents.asp.
While people in possession of Retired Permits are permitted to work, they are nonetheless required to prove that their pension fund provides them with a monthly income of no less than 20 000 ZAR. Alternatively, applicants must prove that their net financial worth is equivalent to this income.
Unfortunately, this is the case for each person applying for a Retired Permit, meaning that if you have a spouse or accompanying relative who is dependent on you, you’ll have to prove that you have a 40 000 ZAR monthly income.
Aside from the obvious expense involved in this application, there is no prescribed timeframe for the processing of Retired Permit applications. You might want to recruit the services of a local attorney to ensure that yours is processed in a timely manner.